Longfellow Elementary School hosts bus-themed anti-bullying … – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — Positive energy and practicing kindness.
Those were the themes when Longfellow Elementary School held its annual anti-bullying assembly Friday, Nov. 4.
Students kindergarten through fifth grade piled into the school’s gymnasium to watch a short presentation with the use of a bus metaphor, followed by songs and dances by high school students and other educators.
Students were prepared for the assembly by reading Jon Gordon’s “The Energy Bus for Kids,” learning that each child is the driver of their bus and responsible for their attitudes toward themselves and others.
Tim Kirby, a Mitchell School District bus driver, introduced Friend De Coup (FDC), a group of Mitchell High School students working toward a positive environment in schools that volunteered to perform a song and dance for the elementary students.
Principal Lisa Heckenlaible also spoke at the event, noting, “Tim Kirby is is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. He always has a smile on his face and is always so friendly in-person and over the phone, so it just made sense for him to be here at our bus-themed assembly today.”
According to Heckenlaible, all of the students apart of the FDC are also members of Mitchell High School’s show choir.
“Tim not only drives the bus for show choir students but attends every single one of their shows,” Heckenlaible said. “I’ve never heard a negative comment about him. Every day is a great day for him.”
The assembly is based on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, invented by Dan Olweus, a research professor of psychology and often referred to as the “pioneer” for bullying research.
“The program was adopted by Longfellow somewhere around 10 years ago,” Heckenlaible said. “It’s utilized in all the elementary schools in our district.”
All three Mitchell elementary schools will be holding a positive-energy themed, anti-bullying assembly, according to Heckenlaible.
During the assembly, students were faced with a number of questions, including who to tell if they are being or see someone else being bullied and how to effectively communicate when someone has hurt their feelings.
Students were also informed that names will be randomly drawn for a chance to win a “bus box,” a box that is “fueled with positive energy” and filled with treats and trinkets to praise students for being a positive influence on their peers.
The assembly is one of three annual assemblies planned for the 2022-23 school year and the focus on the anti-bullying message will last all year long.


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